The International Literary Quarterly

May 2009

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Return by John McAuliffe  



The towns are not so dark that no one enters;
in nearby docks, the nights
advance on empty lots.
Fanatics gather in community centres.

A dry spell engenders nostalgia for rain.
The news will consider
the negligent doctor
and just who is immune to the variant strain.

In cooler queues, low-slung jeans
date the waspie;
the bright bars are smokefree
as the ocean’s photic zones.

The downturn floats the clearance sale:
staff migrate
and the market
anticipates no return; churches fill,

the igloo melts, the deserts spread:
north and south,
a dolphin’s found in every port;
new forms of algae feather the tide.

The boats will travel day and night
and some make land.
For the time being, out of mind
is out of sight:

no walk-outs, no wild shouts
from the dawning dark.
Someone organises scouts,
someone cleans up the park.